My research on flexible learning has left me with more questions than answers.
Trying to understand what is meant by the term “flexible learning” was not as easy it first appeared to be.
During my research I found many definitions of flexible learning, the definition that I most preferred was a broad one given by Collis and Moonen (2001). They describe flexible learning as “learner choice in different aspects of the learning experience”1. While this definition does not specifically focus on flexible learning in the digital world, our key interest, as participants in this course, has to be on the ways we can use technology to design flexible learning spaces for our students.
I do believe that the future of higher education lies with a flexible learning approach using technology and virtual learning spaces, as it has the potential to improve access to HE and offer students an abundance of powerful learning opportunities (and should therefore increase student success) . If we want to “tap” into flexible learnings’ true potential, we will need educators to be innovative and ready “think out the box”. From my research on this, my strong sense is that we will need to put aside everything that we know about traditional learning and teaching if we want to truly capitalise on this opportunity.
I will continue my research in this area as I am aware that I have only scraped the surface on this critical area of educational study. Everyone is new to this concept and things are quickly developing and evolving constantly. There seems to be enormous amount of exciting, innovative experimenting in this area happening around the world currently.
It’s of vital importance to me to get and keep myself up-to-date with the latest trends and insights as I do believe this the direction our institution is going to head.
1 Collis, Betty and Moonen, Jef.. 2001. Flexible Learning in a Digital World: Experiences and Expectations. Collis, Betty, Moonen, Jef.